A Treasured Language with a Long History

Prof. David M. Bunis is a world-renowned expert in Ladino (also known as Judezmo or Judeo-Spanish), the endangered language of Sephardic Jews. Prof. Bunis is based at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Languages at the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He spent the 2013-14 academic year in Seattle as the Stroum Center’s Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies. While he was here, Prof. Bunis taught courses on Sephardic culture and two sections of Ladino, making the UW the only campus in the country where undergraduates could learn to read and write Ladino in the Hebrew alphabet.

In the spring of 2014, Prof. Bunis sat down for an interview with Prof. Devin Naar, Chair of the UW Sephardic Studies Program, to chat about the history of Ladino and its alphabet, which is called soletreo. You’ll find below three short excerpts from their conversation , as well as the full interview. Please also check out Prof. Bunis’s instructional video, Learn How to Write Soletreo (the Ladino Alphabet).

This video project was made possible by a partnership between the UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Languages of the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Find out more about the other innovative projects supported by the Stroum Center’s Faculty Digital Fellowship, which empowers professors to boost their public scholarship using new media.

Learning Soletreo: Devin & David’s Stories

Soletreo Today

The Shift Away from Soletreo

View the Full Interview

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